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5:23 PM - 06.13.14
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Super-blogger!

It's a Bird! It's A Plane! It's Super-blogger!


(Had an entry going for the past couple days, then accidentally deleted it - Out of emotional self-defense, I had to tell myself, "Well, it sucked anyway", but actually, I think it was pretty good...dammit.)

Recently, my friend Jane R. had her very first film - a short documentary called The Pie Lady Of Pie Town - premiere at a film festival here in LA (I really liked it, and I wasn't alone - It won "Audience Favorite", and could very possibly end up in Oscar contention).

Got a little bummed after watching it - Jane had an idea, had no idea how to execute it, forged ahead anyway, and now she's an "award-winning film-maker", while my M.O. is more "have an idea, have no idea how to execute it, then forget about it" - but if I'm bummed out because someone's doing creative work and I'm not, who's fault is that?

Anyway...

A less-successful film on the same bill was Friends You Haven't Met Yet, about online bloggers.

I didn't think it worked nearly as well as my friend Jane's film - which was heartfelt and funny, and made you happy you met "The Pie Lady" (Kathy Knapp) - but it was of interest to me because of the subject matter.

After watching it, I couldn't have told you what the "research" they were doing was for, or if there was any point to the movie beyond, "Isn't it interesting that some people like to write about themselves online?", but I left feeling like "I need to step up my game...".

(The bloggers in the movie - or "super-bloggers", as they were called - posted entries 5,6,7 times a week or more. I, on the other hand, am posting less and less over time.)

Why does it matter how much I write in here, you're wondering?

It's not like I'm getting paid (Though I'd like to figure out some way to get paid), and really, it's not going to be any big loss for anyone should I stop; even the most ardent "fan" of this journal, if there is such a thing, would be able to quickly move on if I stopped tomorrow.

But in my "first draft" of this entry - the one that got deleted - I pegged it: This, for whatever it's worth, is close as I get to being "expert" at something.

I did a "skills assessment" recently for my new theatrical agents, and was discouraged to see, in black-and-white, that I don't really have any "skills", per se (By that, I mean there isn't anything I do where I can say, "I _____ really well". I can "sort of" do any number of things, but I'm not "really good" at anything).

But I've been doing this for almost 35 years now, and it's clear, from reading journals from "the early days", that I'm a much better writer now than I was then.

Sometimes it feels like kind of a stupid, pointless thing to be good at (Because who gives a shit, really?) - and sometimes it doesn't (Because I've gotten feedback, every so often, that suggests a couple people out there do "give a shit").

But, "stupid" or not, I've spent more time doing this than pretty much any other "activity" I do, including acting.

So it bothers me, as a middle-aged man who hasn't mustered the focus it would have taken to become an "expert" at anything, to have never really "applied myself" to anything, to be falling away from the one thing where I have demonstrated a degree of "focus", and have "applied myself" for decades.

____________________

Fri 6/13/14 (7:58 pm)

I've lost track of what I have and haven't written in here already...

Did I tell you I did end up getting new theatrical agents?

We didn't hear back for weeks (Brett, my manager, initiated the whole thing), and I was starting to think I'd fucked up the interview somehow, but then a few weeks ago, Brett called and said they wanted to work with me.

That Monday, I went back to the agency (Clear Talent Group), to sign paperwork - which I actually took with me, cause there was a lot - and to meet Scot, the other half of the team (Scot was coming on board when I had my initial interview with Brianna).

I was very encouraged by the meeting. I felt like they were positive, without "blowing sunshine up my skirt".

And on my part, I wasn't walking in with over-inflated expectations - I didn't say "Make me a movie star!" or "I want my own series!"; I told them I wanted to get more tv drama, I wanted to make inroads into movies, and I wanted to at least be "in the mix" during "pilot season".

Anyway, it's a positive development, I'd say the biggest since Shameless.

And as I've been telling anyone who'll listen, it felt really good to be talking bout my career goals with people who are in a position to help me make them happen (Made me realize how often I gas on about this stuff with people who can't do anything but say, "Okay...well, I hope that happens for you Jim...").

____________________

Writing about the new agents just now made me think about a big reason I was stressed going into the initial interview; having not booked a single new gig so far this year, I wasn't going in feeling like the hottest of prospects.

I would have strongly preferred if I'd had a bunch of auditions and a number of good bookings going in, to feel like I wasn't walking in "hat in hand", but like an actor who has something to offer.

In thinking about my upcoming "vacation" - I'm going back to Michigan for a visit the beginning of next month - I'm realizing I have a very similar feeling going in; I would like to be in a "better position" than I am.

Jane basically up "took up a collection" for plane fare - a little embarrassing (That "the big Hollywood actor" needs someone to pass the collection plate for him), but also appreciated - and I'll be staying with her and Mark while I'm there, so as vacations go, it couldn't get a whole lot cheaper.

But I'm getting poorer every day, losing meetings at WW while trying to get through the slowest time of the year as an actor (In a year that's already not exactly breaking records for auditions and bookings), so any extra expenditures right now feel like fiscal Russian roulette.

But beyond that, it's "an emotional thing" - I like feeling like a success when I roll back into town.

And I do not feel like a "success" right now (New agents notwithstanding). I feel tired, and anxious, and poor.

And I irrationally fear that I'll go back and no one will give a shit.

But there's Mark and Jane, and Bruce and Kelly, and Tom and Mary, and the Schuler Gang, amongst others; it won't be like Mark and Jane will be stuck trying to keep me entertained all week long.

And as for "the success thing" - I'm not "unsuccessful" now just because it's been a slow year. I've been here 13 years, and have dozens of credits.

And is that really the point? The people who are going to be excited to see me liked me before "fame and fortune" happened (Or before whatever you call what's happened to me happened).

In any case, it's all gonna work out - The trip won't bankrupt me, I won't miss out on the big series regular audition, the cat won't die while I'm gone, people will attend Jane's "Welcome back Jim" party, etc.

Everything's gonna be just fine.

(Lather, rinse, repeat...)

 

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